Flickr/Sam Anvari

Despite its reputation, Iran's capital city holds secret charms

You could be forgiven for reading the news out of Tehran—protests (and brutal oppression thereof), morality police, first place honors as the smoggiest capital—and crossing it right off your to-visit list. 

But writer Azadeh Moaveni says you'd be making a mistake. Moaveni, who spent her childhood in California, rediscovered her ancestral home as a young journalist in the late 1990s. She has lived in Tehran on and off for six years, eventually writing two books about her time there.

In her own words, Moaveni explains why, in spite of everything, she loves the complicated Iranian capital.

This interview was condensed and edited for clarity.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. The Presidio Terrace neighborhood
    POV

    The Problem of Progressive Cities and the Property Tax

    The news that a posh San Francisco street was sold for delinquent taxes exposes the deeper issue with America’s local revenue system.

  2. Times Square, 1970.
    Life

    The New York That Belonged to the City

    Hyper-gentrification turned renegade Manhattan into plasticine playground. Can the city find its soul again?

  3. Poverty

    L.A. County’s Latest Solution to Homelessness Is a Test of Compassion

    Residents can get up to $75,000 to build a “granny flat”—if they open it up to a homeless family.

  4. POV

    Grenfell Was No Ordinary Accident

    The catastrophic fire that killed at least 80 in London was the inevitable byproduct of an ideology that vilified the poor.

  5. "Gift Horse"—a skeletal sculpture of a horse by artist Hans Haacke—debuted on the Fourth Plinth in London's Trafalgar Square in 2015.
    Design

    What To Do With Baltimore's Empty Confederate Statue Plinths?

    Put them to work, Trafalgar Square style.